Over 460% rise in PIP claims stopped due to failure to return review form

Wed,15 February 2023
News Benefits
New figures, released by Tom Pursglove, the Minister for Disabled People, show that in 2017, 7,500 claims for personal independence payment (PIP) were “disallowed” because the claimant failed to return the AR1 award review form.
But by 2021 this had risen to 42,100, an increase of 461%.

The Minister’s written answer did not state:

  • whether non-return includes forms that were returned late; or
  • how many disabled claimants challenged the decision that they had failed to return their form on time.

However, he maintained that PIP and disability living allowance claimants who fail to return a review form will not lose their award before progressing to a health assessment if they have been identified as requiring “additional support”.

While the DWP does not use a set definition of a “vulnerable” claimant: Mr. Pursglove said:

“Claimants with serious mental health, or cognitive conditions who have difficulty communicating or engaging with the process, are marked as Additional Support (AS).

“This group are not classed as vulnerable; however, the DWP recognises that safeguards are needed to prevent claims falling out of payment so these claimants will automatically progress to the provider for an assessment, whether they complete a review form or not, and will not be disallowed pre-assessment.”

He added that PIP claimants who are identified or deemed as vulnerable are recorded as requiring additional customer support and that:

“This group will include those who may be vulnerable due to their circumstances, not just their condition.

“Whilst some claimants will fit into both categories, and have both markers applied, claimants in this category would also be afforded additional sensitivity and protection at all stages of their claim, not just at the point of disallowance for failing to return a claim form.”

Vicky Foxcroft, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Disabled People, said that the figures were “very concerning” and called on the Government to investigate them “as a matter of urgency”.

In addition, she said that she would be pushing Ministers for an explanation for the figures, and to investigate whether the disallowances have led to the deaths of any disabled people.

Ken Butler DR UK’s Welfare Rights and Policy Adviser said:

"DR UK supports the call for an urgent investigation into this huge rise in disallowed PIP claims.

How many of the affected 42,000 claimants made successful appeals?

Despite the reassurance of the Minister, how many claimants may have failed to return their review form because of the effects of a physical or mental health condition and had their benefit stopped?

How effective are the DWP’s systems for identifying those who need additional support?

These are all issues that need answers."

Scores of deaths of claimants in the last three years have been linked to persistent, systemic flaws in the way benefits are managed by the DWP.

The Minister's written answer is available from parliament.uk

For further information see: